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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave

Monday, 6 April 2015

Danubia

I have just finished reading Simon Winder's entertaining personal history of Habsburg Europe, Danubia.

This is more about the Habsburg lands rather than the Habsburg's themselves, although they make up an important part of the story. It's a sort of mix between a narrative history and a travelogue. He takes the reader chronilogically from their medieval base up to the dissolution of the empire in 1918. But he does so illustrating the history with descriptions of the towns and cities he has visited. It's entertaining because there are eccentric characters and interesting stories.

It's also a tragic story. Obviously for the last Habsburg's, but more so for the populations who have been displaced, many times. This is reflected in the different names of the towns in the region as the state boundaries were moved around with associated ethnic cleansing.

By no means a conventional history, or a military history. However, a more than useful insight into the Habsburg's who played an important role in the Balkans for more than four centuries.


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